Pendolino train

LEP chairman lobbies for high speed rail

Mike Blackburn, chairman of the Greater Manchester local enterprise partnership, is lobbying the Government to bring high speed rail to Manchester.

Blackburn said: "I have written to the transport secretary to express our support for High Speed 2 as part of a longer term plan for a national High Speed Rail (HSR) network.

"If approved, it will reduce journey times between the city and London by an hour to just 80 minutes and Birmingham to within 40 minutes. These improvements to the city's connectivity cannot be underestimated. They will bring a wide range of new business opportunities to the table and will help fuel the city-region economy for years to come.

"HSR is absolutely critical to the continued success of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester LEP will do all that it can to assist its arrival in the city."

High Speed 2 is the proposed Y-shaped national high speed rail network linking London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, with trains running at up to 250 miles an hour.

High Speed 2 would cost £32bn to build and is estimated to generate benefits of £44bn and revenues totalling £27bn.

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